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Tips For Preparing for a Road Trip This Summer

How to get ready for that classic American road trip.

Car wash

So many people choose to fly everywhere these days. So as a result, you might think that the classic North American road trip is something that is a thing of the past. But that is definitely not the case. It might seem like the ‘on the road’ experience of getting a car and going out for a drive for the sake of just going is something that is in decline, but you just have to look at all of the cars around you that show you that more and more of us are taking road trips for a vacation and for visiting friends and family. They may be shorter, because of the busy lives that we lead, but they are still happening.

Statistics aside, there is no denying that there is a certain appeal and lure of a road trip, and that it is an undeniable feeling. It might be that you enjoyed road trips growing up and have that great connection that way.  There is definitely a richness to driving across the landscape, an inch at a time, that you don’t get from flying in a plane to get to where you want to go to. So if you are in the mood for a road trip, here are some of the things that can help you to get ready for your dream trip.

Clean your car before and during your trip

If you want to leave the candy wrappers, wipes, and napkins all over the car, then go right ahead. But a few days into your trip, when there is trash all over the car, you’ll be regretting not clearing it out as you go along. But to start off with, before you even go on the trip, it is a great idea to have a big clear out and clean up of the car. Getting into a car that is clean and smells good is going to be a good starting point for your trip. Then, as the trip proceeds, take time every couple of days to have a bit of a purge in your car, to get rid of trash and dirt. You don’t want to be sitting in filth, and you don’t want to driven made by the mess.

Check your vehicle

Of course, before you head off on a road trip, it is all about checking that your car is ready to take you where you want to go. So about a week before you leave for a road trip, it is a good idea to check a few things on your car, or at least have a mechanic check on them. The kinds of things to look out for are things like fluid levels, brakes, the tires (pressure and tread), and look at the general things that could lead to problems after a bit of driving. Having things like jumper cables in the car and a first aid kit can be a good idea too.

For something a little different, but that can still be a good idea, you could look to get something like personalised number plates for your car. If you drive a lot, and want to do something fun and unique, then it could be what you need for giving you a boost. Plus, they’re going to last and last so can be a good way of keeping that road trip with you all of the time.

Anticipate trouble spots

If you are planning to be out on a long road trip, then it can be quite easy to find that you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. You could have not really checked a map and done your research, and then you could end up in a really tricky part of the country, hitting a city or the outskirts of a city during rush hour, for example. So you do need to plan ahead and plan your route. If you choose to be a little more flexible, then it is a good idea to check how long it will take to get to certain places. It might be easier to hold back at a rest stop for a little longer, for example, just so you can avoid the rush hour traffic.

Pre-Plan Entertainment

There are regional radios that you can use to listen to music. But how frustrating can it be when you lose signal or it crackles, as well as when you can’t find something that you even want to listen to. So pre-plan the music that you want to have, as well as things like movies for the passengers. You could download playlists from places like Spotify or Pandora, as well as things like podcasts and audiobooks. You can even download certain things on Netflix, so that can be worth looking into as well (especially if you have kids on the trip with you).

If you are going to be driving for a while, then you don’t want to run out of power with your phone. Not only is it going to help be a source of entertainment, but you can use your phone for a map too, as well as for emergencies, so having a proper in-car charger is really important. You can chargers for USB ports or cigarette chargers, so it can make a difference.

Division of labor

Some people are naturally better at navigating and giving directions. Others will be unable to read a map if their life depended on it; we are all different. Other people will be good at planning meals, while others could consider something like bags of chips as a good dinner. So look at who is going to be on the road trip with you; will it be family or friends? From there, you need to make sure that if you are doing the driving, then you need to share out the other responsibilities. Share the tasks so that you aren’t having to do everything and think about everything. And make sure that you divvy up the tasks so that everything gets done but that you also play to other people’s strengths.

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  • Sophia Decruse August 7, 2023, 6:17 am

    Absolutely love these tips! Getting ready for a road trip is like mixing fun with planning. From giving your ride some TLC to packing like a champ, this advice nails it. Oh, and remember to throw in a bit of randomness – some of the coolest stuff happens when you wander off course. Cheers to an awesome summer of road-tripping!

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